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Pinterest Marketing Tips from Nell of Me Marketing Group

Now, Pinterest marketing is still very much an emerging field. But what advice would marketing agencies give you about it? We’ve been interviewing some of them to find out.

Today, we’re interviewing Nell of Me Marketing Group for his views on Pinterest marketing…

Nell is an entrepreneur with multiple business ventures across entertainment, printing, marketing, media, and also real estate. He is currently preparing to launch several monthly publications around the Greater Detroit area.

1. When and how did you first get into Pinterest marketing?

We began offering Pinterest marketing soon after the site began to gain popularity. Initially we were a bit skeptical about the impact that the site would have in the marketing world for business owners, but soon found the site was becoming an effective tool. Once customers started inquiring about it we added it our mix.

2. What’s your involvement with Pinterest marketing day-to-day at the moment?

On a personal level, I’m just getting started in using the site, however, we discuss daily with customers the importance of business using it as a tool to market products and brands. Some customers remain reluctant or skeptical, but we have seen a huge rise in clients needing help in getting started on the site.

3. Are you seeing a lot of interest from clients for Pinterest marketing?

Yes and No, a lot of clients are still searching for info about the site and looking for a way in which they can use it for their brand. Some clients are so focused on Twitter and Facebook marketing that they are reluctant to try it, mostly because of time restraints or lack of knowledge of how to use it.

4. How should business owners decide whether or not to spend time on Pinterest when there are so many other things they could be doing?

Consider your product and target market before devoting a lot of time to a site like Pinterest, but that can be said about all social networks, every site isn’t a great place to devote your efforts to, you have to find the one that meets your needs best.

5. For businesses that are already using Pinterest to some extent, what’s one top thing most of them could improve to make their efforts more effective?

Pinterest is a visual site because its based on pics, so your campaigns should be eye catching. They don’t have to be all snapshots of products that you offer, it’s not a sales paper. If you are a company which sales home decor items, try using pics which have products similar to yours in a real life setting. Be creative with your graphics, spend time editing pics, use contrast highlighting your items… make sure that you do more than just have a basic picture.

6. What are some Pinterest marketing campaigns you’re particularly proud of/impressed by?

I’ve ran across a few Pinterest campaigns that were impressive, the ones that I particularly enjoyed the most were from a travel agency we worked with, for obvious reason it’s not hard to imagine a beautiful board for a nice island get away.

7. What’s your favorite Pinterest marketing tip for more advanced Pinterest marketers?

Keep active with your boards, and continue seeking new followers and follow people with similar interest back. Also remember Pinterest is a site that has long visit spans from visitors. The average visit last about 5 – 10 minutes. Once you have a persons eye, it’s a good chance you can keep them engaged for a long time. That can lead to a new customer for your brand.

8. How do you see the world of Pinterest evolving over the next 12 months?

I can see the site continuously gaining popularity once people start using it more. It’s honestly one of the more unique and addictive of the social sites because unlike most sites which are based on words… it’s based on pics… that’s a huge advantage for Pinterest along with it being interactive with your web experience with the “Pin It” tab you add to your browser. You’ll find yourself using it more and more often and creating more boards due to that alone.

9. How can people best find you online?

Check out our site www.memarketgroup.com

Thank you, Nell!

Have you seen these other posts in our series of interviews with Pinterest marketing experts?

Is there someone you’d like us to interview next? Let us know in the comments!

 

Pinterest Expert Interview: Brian Offenberger of Right On – No Bull Marketing

For our third Pinterest expert interview, we speak with Brian Offenberger of Right On – No Bull Marketing

Brian Offenberger is a salesperson training expert and owner of Right On – No Bull Marketing, a furniture industry marketing agency.

1. When and how did you first get into Pinterest marketing?

I got involved in actual marketing via Pinterest with a furniture store client we were working with in LA. We had heard of Pinterest from an SEO perspective and thought it might be a nice channel for this outdoor furniture retailer. Since then, we’ve expanded Pinterest to several other clients and plan on working with more in the near future.

2. What’s your involvement with Pinterest marketing day-to-day at the moment?

I’m involved with Pinterest on a daily basis by suggesting its use to potential and existing clients. I also try to keep up with trends, case studies and best practices, as well as approve board content for ourselves and our clients.

3. Are you seeing a lot of interest from clients for Pinterest marketing?

We work primarily in the automotive and furniture industries. We have not yet seen the interest yet in Pinterest marketing that we have seen with Facebook and YouTube, as well as search marketing, email and paid search. We think many companies are fatigued trying to keep up with all these online channels, many of which can be confusing and somewhat intimidating to many small business owners. However, as more businesses experience success with this platform, we feel its interest from marketers will increase as well.

4. How should business owners decide whether or not to spend time on Pinterest when there are so many other things they could be doing?

The best way to find out if Pinterest will help you is to try it properly. First, look at your existing analytics to find the sales and profit returns from the channels you are currently using. Divert marketing dollars and resources from under-performing channels to support your Pinterest efforts. Then, have a written plan outlining your Pinterest objectives, content, implementation, etc. and give it a try. Your website analytics will give you a great indicator if Pinterest is profiting for you.

5. For businesses that are  already using Pinterest to some extent, what’s one top thing most of them could improve to make their efforts more effective?

Most businesses would make their Pinterest marketing efforts most effective if they had a plan regarding content and activity frequencies. Too many pin content when the mood strikes rather than with any regularity. Many pin content that “looks cool at the time” without any adherence to an overall content plan for the channel. Develop and follow a sound content and audience engagement plan for Pinterest better outcomes will happen.

6. What are some Pinterest marketing campaigns you’re particularly proud of/impressed by?

I’m most impressed by sustainable Pinterest efforts that increase profits for their owners. Generally, these are efforts on Pinterest that really focus on visual content of high value and interest to the owner’s target audience. Two that come to mind are Wilson Auto Repair, a high end classic car restoration shop in the Dallas area, and Jeeperz Creeperz, an online seller of Jeep and off-road parts and accessories. For those interested in running contests on Pinterest, there is an excellent posting on the topic covered by Social Media Examiner.

7. What’s your favorite Pinterest marketing tip for more advanced Pinterest merketers?

Three things most companies could do to improve their Pinterest efforts:

  1. Engage others. Follow other boards on Pinterest. It’s not all about you…engagement with others creates positive activities for your brand.
  2. Look at performance metrics. Find out what content is most appealing to your audience by looking at engagement metrics and website activity coming from Pinterest.
  3. Use keywords in your descriptive text and include your website address. This will make it easier for people to find your content on Pinterest as well as finding your website.

8. How do you see the world of Pinterest evolving over the next 12 months?

Pinterest will ultimately need to make money to survive. I’m intrigued by how this will happen. I’d also like to see Pinterest offer brands more integration capabilities with other channels, like email sign ups and options for special offers.

9. How can people best find you online?

For those wanting to get started with marketing on Pinterest, they can download our free Pinterest “Cheat Sheet,” a one page guide to common Pinterest terms and best practices. We also have a free eBook about how to increase leads and sales with Pinterest.

I can best be reached via email at Brian at righton-nobull.com or via my LinkedIn profile.

Thank you, Brian!

Pinterest Expert Interview: Susan Gunelius of KeySplash Creative

After our recent interview with Dave Chaffey, today we’re interviewing Susan Gunelius of KeySplash Creative in the second of our conversations with Pinterest marketing experts.

Susan Gunelius is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She is a 20-year marketing veteran whose client list includes AT&T, HSBC, Cox Communications, Citibank, and many more large and small companies around the world. Susan is frequently interviewed by television, radio, print, and online media organizations about marketing, branding, and social media, and she writes about marketing for Forbes.com and Entrepreneur.com.

1. When and how did you first get into Pinterest marketing?

I got an early invite to Pinterest and started analyzing it right away as a marketing tool. The idea of visual sharing seemed like a perfect fit for creative brands.

2. What’s your involvement with Pinterest marketing day-to-day at the moment?

I work on strategic branding and leveraging social media for content marketing and brand development. Pinterest is just one tool I include in strategic marketing plans for my clients.

3. Are you seeing a lot of interest from clients for Pinterest marketing?

Most of my clients haven’t fully embraced Pinterest yet. However, my specialties are B2B and financial marketing, which aren’t industries that would typically prioritize Pinterest at the top of the to-do list yet. It’s on the radar for them and being added to their integrated marketing plans, but budget and resource investments are still small for Pinterest among my typical clients.

4. How should business owners decide whether or not to spend time on Pinterest when there are so many other things they could be doing?

I think the first question they need to ask themselves is whether or not their customers are on Pinterest or are likely to be on Pinterest in the near future. Pinterest is growing, but the majority of users are still women. Of course, women make or influence the majority of purchase decisions, so it could easily be argued that, as a result, every brand has an audience on Pinterest. It’s also important to ensure that your brand is prepared to communicate visually to consumers. If you don’t have your brand story prepared in a way that can be meaningfully communicated without the context of words, then you’re probably not ready to fully leverage Pinterest yet.

5. For businesses that are  already using Pinterest to some extent, what’s one top thing most of them could improve to make their efforts more effective?

Integration with the broader marketing plan and the tactics within that plan. I think that’s a struggle for most businesses that are trying to find their way in social media and content marketing. Unfortunately, we’re still seeing a great deal of silo marketing in online and offline marketing. Brands that successfully integrate their marketing efforts so one tactic feeds off the next are still few and far between.

6. What are some Pinterest marketing campaigns you’re particularly proud of/impressed by? 

I don’t think any campaigns have blown me away yet, but that’s not surprising. It’s very early in the Pinterest lifecycle for the perfect campaign to have been launched already. However, I think Proctor & Gamble launched a great integrated campaign that included Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, commercials, and more as part of its sponsorship of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The brand generated a significant amount of buzz from the campaign as well as direct engagement from consumers.

7. What’s your favorite Pinterest marketing tip for more advanced Pinterest merketers?

I think advanced Pinterest marketers should follow the same tips that an evolving brand marketer should follow. Don’t just focus on features and benefits messaging and images that support those messages. Instead, focus on tapping into consumers’ emotions by telling stories and building relationships with consumers that make it easy for them to share your content and talk about your brand. Creating emotional involvement in a brand is one of the most important steps of developing a powerful brand, and images can tap into emotions and connect consumers to brands through those emotions in a powerful way. It’s also a critical step to turning repeat customers into loyal customers and vocal brand advocates. In other words, move past pinning pictures of products and evoke emotions with your pins that can drive word-of-mouth marketing.

8. How do you see the world of Pinterest evolving over the next 12 months? 

We’ll see more third party apps and tools launched to help brands better understand the results of their efforts on Pinterest as well as competitor sites and tools. Several useful tools are already available and others are still in beta. There is definitely a need for better metrics.

9. How can people best find you online?

The best places to find me online are my company website at www.keysplashcreative.com and my blog for women in business at www.womenonbusiness.com. My most active social profile is Twitter (@susangunelius).

Thanks for the interview, Susan!

Pinterest Expert Interview: Dr. Dave Chaffey of SmartInsights

Pinterest Expert Interview: Dave Chaffey of SmartInsights

What would you want to know from a leading Pinterest marketing expert?

In a bit of  a change from our usual articles, we are running a series of interviews with marketing experts who are using Pinterest as one of their platforms. For our first such interview, we speak with Dr. Dave Chaffey of SmartInsights.

Dr. Dave Chaffey is the CEO and co-founder of the online marketing advice publisher, SmartInsights.com. He enjoys learning and sharing information on best practice in the world of Internet Marketing. (SmartInsights, 2012) 

1. When and how did you first get into Pinterest marketing?

As a follower of the latest SEO practices I first became aware of Pinterest when links were dofollowed from Pin descriptions and then Pinterest changed them to nofollows because spammers were exploiting them. Then there was the affiliate link skimming used by Pinterest to raise funds which got a lot of press.

I think what really caught my attention was the report from the Shareholic sharing service at the start of 2012 proclaiming that Pinterest Drives More Referral Traffic Than Google Plus, YouTube and LinkedIn Combined. These amazing reports have continued with Techcrunch saying July 2012 that Pinterest Traffic Passes Google Referrals, Bing, Twitter & StumbleUpon. Impressive stuff, but I have to say I think misleading compared to what we see in the Europe from the analytics of clients I’m involved with. Still, it was a wakeup call and like many companies we claimed our stake to protect our brand.

2. What’s your involvement with Pinterest marketing day-to-day at the moment?

We’re big advocates for using Pinterest marketing daily in sectors like Fashion and Travel where it will make a significant difference. For us, I don’t think it’s that significant for us at SmartInsights.com right now, since we see that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ drive more visitors than Pinterest.

That said, before we even had our Pinterest boards live we could see our visuals being shared on Pinterest – we have a lot of digital marketing models and infographics on our site because we believe they’re a great way of planning and managing marketing better than your rivals.

Our marketing infographics board is still the most popular and we aim to have one original infographic each month, but we find we have many more repins direct from the site rather than on Pinterest.

We have discovered that sharing the very best infographics from other sites on our blog is effective in getting more shares and visits back to our site. We try hard not just to post what everyone else is pinning, but be earlier or find more “left-field” pins.

3. Are you seeing a lot of interest from clients for Pinterest marketing?

We certainly see lots of interest from marketers whenever we cover newer approaches to online marketing like QR codes, Google+ or Pinterest. These tactics are “hot” this year and are most widely shared and commented. We help marketers by covering “best practices” in digital marketing through reviewing examples and case studies. We published our Smarter Pinterest marketing guide to help with this.

This said, I think many of our clients are still more concerned about getting more from the key techniques like search marketing or the bigger social networks, so getting Facebook or Twitter to get work harder for them.

4. How should business owners decide whether or not to spend time on Pinterest when there are so many other things they could be doing?

You’re right about many other things to do, so I think marketers struggle to make the time for Pinterest because it needs richer, quality content for sharing than some other social networks.

To help decide see how much sharing Pinterest is driving in your sector use Pinterest to see the level of sharing. I mentioned above that we were seeing quite a lot of sharing of content on our site even before we launched our Pinterest boards. I recommend that, to assess the potential, owners use the “source” syntax in the URL to see what is being shared on their site and competitor sites. For us, the syntax is www.pinterest.com/source/smartinsights.com. We saw good sharing of our infographics which showed we should focus more attention on Pinterest.

5. For businesses that are already using Pinterest to some extent, what’s one top thing most of them could improve to make their efforts more effective?

As with any content marketing I think it’s about being a better publisher – that means having a regular process of quality shareable content that works for the Pinterest audience. I see lots of examples where companies make a start and fade away, like we saw with early efforts at blogging. You have to have a sustained stream of quality content which is shareable, but also presents your brand well. I know that’s obvious, but it’s what I see. To keep it sustained, try a regular feature every day or once a week. For example ASOS have the 3’s (Simple, Sexy, Seductive) in different categories like celebs.

6. What are some Pinterest marketing campaigns you’re particularly impressed by?

A strong, “fun” offer and integration are what I look for to give the campaign the biggest impact, that means integration with the website, email marketing and other social channels.

Harrods ran a Street party competition linking Pinterest and Twitter. They asked customers to create their own mood boards for a street party, told them a board title to use and a hashtag to include and also asked entrants to tweet them their entries. This is a clever to way to engage with customers as well as boosting your presence across social media.

This board description gives the entry details which shows the mechanic:

Have you ever fancied designing your own window at Harrods? We are inviting you to create a mood board on Pinterest, which will be the inspiration for a ‘Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Street Party’ window. Your board must be titled ‘Harrods Street Party Window’ and once complete, you must tweet us a link to your board (@HarrodsofLondon) including the hashtag #HarrodsWindows. Here is one we have created to give you some ideas“.

7. What’s your favorite Pinterest marketing tip for more advanced Pinterest marketers?

That’s simple “Reach out”! With Pinterest, it’s all to easy to focus on your own board, but it’s the same as with blogging, you need to get involved with a community of interest and partners to get more visibility.

So, comment on the pins of boards you follow to show interest in what they are pinning, and if you think it is relevant either repin or ‘like’ it. To communicate directly with a Pinterest user, you first need to be following at least one board belonging to him/her. Then, type the @ symbol immediately followed by his/her username. Potential matches to this username will begin to load; when you see the person you want to mention, click his/her name. You can mention a user in a pin/repin description or in a comment. The user you mention will receive a notification.

8. How do you see the world of Pinterest evolving over the next 12 months?

Yes, it’s going to be interesting to see the owners try to monetise it. I hope the owners do a better (and quicker) job than Twitter.

I’d like to see the home page for brands to evolve to be more similar to Facebook company pages with options for offers or email sign-up. While it’s not likely we will see something like Facebook apps within 12 months, I’d love to see a way of running promotions with more prominence to help get sign-up or sale. But this will have to be sensitive to the aesthetics and vibe of Pinterest; it would be a shame to lose that.

9. How can people best find you online?

I’m fortunate to have an unusual name, so just Google “Dave Chaffey” to find me on a network! I like to connect on LinkedIn to answer questions.

I’m all about helping marketers work out the best way to plan and manage their online marketing. So if you’re involved with managing digital marketing, take a look at our free quick guides – we have them laid out visually here in our RACE guide to online marketing strategy.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Pinterest with us, Dave!

Dave clearly knows his stuff when it comes to Pinterest, I’m sure you’ll agree. We’ll be interviewing more Pinterest experts here on the TotalPinterest blog in the weeks to come.

In the meantime, who do you look up to for Pinterest advice? If you know someone we should be interviewing later in this series (perhaps even yourself), do let us know.